So you’ve established yourself in the blogging community and those fabulous PR offers are starting to trickle in to your inbox. It’s very exciting to be offered products to review even if you start small. But how do you make sure you don’t dent the great reputation that you have built up, and what is best practice when it comes to working with PRs? Nickie @ Typecast has a six-step approach that could work for you too…
I never set out to write reviews or accept sponsored posts but I have learnt what can work for my blog by asking six questions each time I receive an offer:
Who? How? When? Where? What? Why?
- Who is the offer for?
- How will this fit in with the theme of my blog?
- When does the review have to be done for?
- Where has the PR got my email address from?
- What will the campaign bring to me and/or my blog?
- Why have I been chosen for this campaign?
PRs are being paid to sell a product or service for a brand so the introductory email is bound to be full of WOW. I want to get to the nitty gritty but so do the PRs. They may want to know what your reader figures are (page views or unique visitors) as they need to make sure their client’s product is going to be seen by the widest audience. This is all normal.
A word of warning. There have been a spate of emails winging their way around the newer bloggers on the block offering lovely items for review (usually from someone representing or pertaining to be the owner of a fairly new company), striking up an email conversation, asking for those elusive stats and then one of two things happens – communication is cut or an email is returned with the simple line, “Your stats are crap!”
Be vigilant. Check the email address of the PR. Is it from a named organisation or is it from a Gmail or Hotmail address? Is everything in the email address spelt correctly (example from this week: “nusery” instead of “nursery”)?
Do a quick search for the PR company or the named brand. Do they actually exist? Having a relationship with PR’s and brands is a great bonus of the parent blogger world. You would trust an honest (not necessarily positive) review of a fellow blogger, wouldn’t you?
By running a review you also experience a few extra hits on your blog from prolonged Google searches and the brand enjoy the digital bonuses of having linkbacks to their products and website – an important part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
There are many people out there wondering why the parent blogging world has experienced a boom in the last 12 months and are trying to find out The Secret. As far as I know there isn’t one – it’s all about being yourself and not forcing the situation. Your blog is your corner of the internet. Protect it and protect yourself.
–Nickie O’Hara, www.iamtypecast.com
Nickie O’Hara blogs at Typecast. With one finger on the pulse and the other on the keyboard, she is not afraid to say it as she sees it. She is a true procrastinator, drinks wine, is occasionally published and is a Nana in her spare time.